It is interesting to note how far people will go to gain an LLM degree, and how far the authorities will go to facilitate this. The Delhi High Court has recently granted Santosh Kumar Singh, a convict serving a prison life term for rape and murder, a four-day parole to take his LLM examination to complete one branch of his LLM degree.
In 1996, Singh was charged with the rape and murder of 25-year old Priyadarshini Mattoo, a law student. At the time, Singh was also a law student of Delhi University. In 1999, the trial court acquitted him of the alleged offenses. However, in 2006, the Delhi High Court reversed the decision and held him guilty. He was sentenced to death. On appeal in 2010, the Supreme Court upheld the High Court's decision but reduced the sentence to life imprisonment.
While in prison, Singh finished his LLB and subsequently began his two-year LLM program starting 2012. By 2014, he had finished the first part of his LLM course and begun the second part. To be awarded an LLM degree, Singh needed to take and pass the LLM exam scheduled May 22.
After much deliberations, the Delhi High Court's Justice Mukta Gupta granted Singh a four-day parole to take the exams. One reason that led to the court's decision to allow him the parole may be Singh's prior record. He was previously granted a longer parole in connection with his course. He came back to prison afterwards.
However, what is more important to the courts is not to stop any of the prisoners from studying. In the Singh case, the court emphasized that the education system is encouraged even in prison to allow for positivity in jail. Singh has since now his exam and is back in prison.
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